Yankees Trading Chase Headley Looks Increasingly Likely


New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley looks like a possible trade candidate this winter in just the second season of his four year $52 million contract.

Coming into Monday night, (former?) New York Yankees starting third baseman Chase Headley had received just two starts at the hot corner in the previous nine games. The lion’s share of the playing time at third has gone to 23-year-old utility guy Ronald Torreyes

Torreyes has gone 14-for-26 during his last eight games played, including five straight starts at third base from Tuesday to Sunday. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Yankees went 6-3 during that span either.

Earlier in the week, Headley expressed frustration at not being in the starting lineup. Presumably that feeling has increased the longer he finds himself riding the pine. 

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It’s understandable that Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants to keep the red-hot Torreyes in the starting lineup, but it does seem notable that Headley is the only New York starter sitting consistently. Torreyes is a utilityman after all, and could be cycled around the infield to keep everyone rested.

With the Yankees in the midst of both a rebuild and a payroll slashing, Chase Headley stands out as a prime target to be traded this winter, as he is neither young nor cheap. The 32-year-old probably has solid trade value after hitting .255/.330/.396 (95 wRC+) through 424 plate appearances with excellent defense. The two years and $26 million he’s owed is probably below market value for him at this point if he were a free agent.

The Giants, Dodgers, Mets, Angels, and Padres all jump out as clubs who might be interested in Headley this winter. The first four are aspiring contenders who could use help at third, while San Diego might be interested in bringing back Headley for PR reasons.

One tinfoil hat idea might be to deal both Brian McCann and Headley to Atlanta this winter as they may be looking for veterans to help them contend when their new park opens.

While the Yankees probably are not going to anoint Torreyes The Solution at third base following a a week or two of great games, the fact that they’re giving him such an extended look probably means they are open to the possibility.

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With Miguel Andujar in Double-A and Rob Refsnyder still kicking around, the team does have some options at third base for the future. The Yankees could even try Starlin Castro at third, opening second base for Refsnyder. Justin Turner, Martin Prado, and Yunel Escobar are all potential stop-gaps on the free agent market if New York decides to go that route.

Honestly, the Yankees product on the field is probably best served by hanging onto Chase Headley at least for 2017, but given Hal Steinbrenner’s desire to get under the luxury tax by next year, it wouldn’t surprise me if he got dumped in the offseason.